The Pilot Yelled… DROP ZONE!

I’ve always been terrified of heights, but that didn’t stop me from jumping out of an airplane. I went tandem, which means I had an experienced jumper hooked to my back. I will never forget this experience.

The entire process took the better part of a day to complete. First, I had to sign my life away. Next, I went through classes to learn the basics, including safety and parachute packing. Then my “Tandem Master” had me practice falling out of a dummy plane, set up on the ground. After that, we made our way towards the actual airplane that was sitting on the runway.

After taking off, we climbed to 13,000 feet, and then the pilot yelled… DROP ZONE!

I remember crawling to the side door as it opened and a burst of cold air hitting my face.

My heart started pounding, and then I looked down.

“SHIT!” 😮

Perched at the open door, ready to fly…

Tandem Master: “On the count of three, we’re going.”

Me: “hahaha… Ok!”

We started rocking back and forth 1…2… and then, I grabbed the bar above me.

Tandem Master: “What are you doing?”

Scared for my life, I looked back and mumbled some gibberish.

Tandem Master: “Put your arms down!”

Me: “NO!”

The Tandem Master started beating my arms to break the death grip I had on the bar. Finally, I let go, and he wrapped me up so I couldn’t grab it again.

Tandem Master: “On the count of three, we’re going.”

We started rocking back and forth again, and he pushed me out on the count of 2.

Me: “Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep…”

We went into a head dive and fell like a ton of bricks. We were falling so fast that my goggles started sliding off my face. I remember thinking, this is not what we practiced.

As we leveled off, I started pumping my hands towards the ground to try and stop the fall. After what seemed like an eternity, the parachute opened. It was the most painful part of the entire process. As the parachute opened, there was an instant upward burst, and that sucked.

Me: “Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep…”

As we floated to the ground, all I could hear was the whistling of the wind. The view was amazing! It was one of the most peaceful and serene experiences I’ve had. We came in for a smooth landing and…

Tandem Master: “You are crazy! That was one of the scariest jumps I’ve ever had.”

Me: “WHAT???”

Tandem Master: “I almost had to cut you loose, dive down and hook you a different way to release the parachute.”

Me: “WHAT???”

Tandem Master: “I had to beat your arms and kick your legs to level us out, so you will probably have some bruising. On top of that, we were only supposed to fall around 120mph. We fell a LOT faster!”

Me: “WOW! How fast?”

Tandem Master: “Too fast!”

Skydiving is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. At first, I was afraid because it pushed me outside of my comfort zone. However, this was something I had always wanted to do. I was determined to achieve the goal.